World Economy

Higher Exports Boost Ireland Trade Figures

Higher Exports Boost Ireland Trade FiguresHigher Exports Boost Ireland Trade Figures

Ireland’s monthly trade surplus, the value of exports over imports, has breached €5 billion ($5.51 billion) for the first time. The stronger-than-expected performance for March was driven by exports of medical devices and pharmaceutical products, which increased by €720 million or 30% to €3 billion.

As a result, the value of exports rose by 10% to €11 billion, the second largest monthly total on record. At the same time, the value of imports in March fell by 15% to €5.8 billion, resulting in a seasonally adjusted trade surplus of just over €5 billion, the highest on record, Nasdaq reported.

Merrion economist Alan McQuaid said while the trade outlook for Ireland remains clouded in uncertainty because of Brexit, the latest numbers pointed to another solid performance this year.

“Indeed, based on the very positive start to 2017, another record surplus now looks on the cards of around €49-50 billion,” he said. The figures show exports to Britain decreased by 1% to €1.1 billion in March compared with the same month last year.

However, exports to Britain increased in January to March by €124 million or 4% compared with the first three months of 2016.

The EU accounted for €5.4 billion or 49% of total goods exports in March. The biggest EU destination for exports was Belgium, which accounted for €1.4 billion.

Antwerp is one of the largest global drug redistribution hubs and receives most of the state’s pharma exports which are not destined for the US.

The US was the main non-EU destination accounting for 27% or nearly €3 billion of total exports in March, while exports to non-EU countries increased by €508 million or 10% to €5.6 billion.

On the import side, petroleum imports increased by €128 million or 65% in March, while imports of road vehicles decreased by €61 million or 17% to €307 million.


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